Introducing the next pattern… The Rae Skirt!

Today I’m excited to announce the newest pattern… the Rae Skirt!

rae skirt beginner sewing pattern

For such a simple style, I’m really excited about this new design. It’s a skirt for true beginners, designed to meet the needs of a brand-new sewer making their first garment project.

This design has an interesting story and reason for existing. I met with a local sewing teacher, Carley from SewGood, and we developed the design together. She’s been teaching for years and pointed out all the things she liked about the patterns she was using, and all the areas where her beginners struggled. Together we came up with this skirt design!

rae skirt beginner sewing pattern

With only two different pattern pieces, this is a great first garment project.

rae skirt beginner sewing pattern

There are two lengths, short and knee-length, and two different fullness options for the short version. Personally I like the short and full version, but I also like the knee length version for summer.

rae skirt beginner sewing pattern

Why make a beginner skirt? Aren’t there already tons of options out there?

rae skirt beginner sewing pattern

Perhaps, but I wanted to put my spin on it. After listening to Carley’s frustrations with finding a pattern that worked for her beginner classes, I knew that the options available weren’t meeting her needs. It made sense to me that any pattern used for a class should match the objectives for the class.

She was using patterns that were okay but not perfect, and then pointing out where they’d deviate from the pattern instructions during the class. If she needed a pattern to teach from, then I knew there had to be other sewing teachers out there that felt equally dissatisfied with the beginner pattern options!

rae skirt beginner sewing pattern

I wanted to make an appealing beginner skirt pattern that didn’t give off that ‘my first skirt’ vibe. By styling it in a modern way, I’m hoping to attract new sewers to the wonderful world of sewing. How many beginner patterns out there are dated-looking, with unstylish outfits often featuring a top in the same fabric? This is a fresher and hopefully more appealing look.

One of the main reasons people become interested in making their own clothing is to make attractive, modern, one-of-a-kind garments that they actually want to wear.

rae skirt beginner sewing pattern

Plus, it’s really easy to make an elastic-waist skirt look frumpy or sack-like. This is not a sack skirt, I promise.

rae skirt beginner sewing pattern

If you’re not a beginner, and I’m betting that many of you aren’t, think of this as an instant gratification skirt. Start Saturday morning, wear it on Saturday night. I’m surprised how much fun this skirt was to make.

rae skirt beginner sewing pattern

Rae is named after a street near my office. Short and sweet! Simple name, simple project.

If you’re confident in your sewing, personalize your skirt! Add inseam pockets by using the pattern pieces from the Cambie or Saltspring dress patterns. Shape the hemline. Add trim, or piping, or rick rack. Add a lining or underlining. Add belt loops to wear your own belts, or add a fabric tie belt. You could use the tie belt from the Alma blouse pattern or draft your own. Cut different panels in different fabrics. It’s so quick to make!

I am planning to whip up a whole bunch of these easy skirts. Just because it says beginner doesn’t mean that us more experienced sewers can’t enjoy it, too! Intermediate or advanced sewers can whip this one up in a few hours. (I made four in one day.)

Photos by ImageryWorks – Leanne Scherp and Susannah Street

Buy the printed paper version of the Rae Skirt pattern here. 

Buy the PDF version of the Rae Skirt pattern here.

But wait, there’s more! (Imagine that in your best infomercial voice.)

For this pattern, we’ve decided to offer something special! Did you like the fabric in the Rae Skirt samples? You could make the exact same skirt!

We’ve put together Rae Skirt Kits to go with the pattern. Fabric, thread, elastic, and a label all in one package, ready to sew.

k1001 rae skirt kit

This is the dotted one, but you can get kits for the denim, floral, and bird-print skirts as well.

I’ve packed the kits in zippered plastic bags, for minimal packaging. These bags are strong and reusable, you could use them for your work-in-progress. I wanted to use the least amount of packaging I could to save shipping costs and not be wasteful, while still giving you something you could possibly use again.

Screenshot 2014-07-23 at 10.07.00 PM - Edited

The kits are not packaged with a pattern since you can choose from PDF or printed patterns. But if you buy a kit, you can get the PDF copy of the pattern free!

(Kind of neat that I can set the web store up to do that. Sorry that I can only do it for the PDF version of the pattern though.)

Kits are limited so once they’re sold out, they’re gone! You could always make something else with your kit materials, it’s totally up to you. Shop for kits here!

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60 Responses to Introducing the next pattern… The Rae Skirt!

  1. rachel July 24, 2014 at 6:17 am #

    Lovely! A good friend of mine requested help with a simple skirt with an elastic waistband and I secretly cringed thinking about crafty, boxy, “beginner” elastic skirts. This is so wearable and much more appealing, Congrats Tasia!

    Also, do you have a source for the floral twill you used? I’m dying to make a floral bomber jacket, but had’t found the right fabric yet. Thanks!

  2. Katie Schulz July 24, 2014 at 6:34 am #

    These kits are a wonderful idea!

  3. Carrie July 24, 2014 at 6:52 am #

    I agree with Katie – the kits are a great idea. I WANT that bird print skirt…so cute! Great job and congratulations on what looks like another wonderful pattern!

  4. Nothy July 24, 2014 at 8:00 am #

    Oh what a fabulous skirt pattern. It is exactly the project I will have for my sewing class. And the kits are fabulous. I love that they contain the notions and the fabric – I actually sent Craftsy the feedback that their kits need to include notions for me to really want to buy them. I think I have to get the floral one…and I hope you stock other kits for your other patterns too.

  5. Estelle July 24, 2014 at 8:30 am #

    What brilliant idea!!! I struggled so much when I started sewing last year… It took me a mont to master the machine and then I did not know where to start. Tilly’s Miette skirt was a good place to start, I then made my Hollyburn skirt but it took me 2 days to find a way to insert a zipper that would make sense to me!!

  6. Aura Oriano July 24, 2014 at 9:32 am #

    Ooooh, that tropical bird print is so cool! You are reading my mind. I was totally coveting that. In the end, I went with the twill floral kit. I’m so sew happy that I didn’t purchase my Yaletown dress a few days ago. Made it easier for me to swoop back into the site to get the kit and Yaletown pattern.

  7. Emma July 24, 2014 at 9:51 am #

    Fabric kits are a brilliant idea — when I was first starting out, choosing appropriate fabric was one of the most difficult parts of sewing!

  8. Laura July 24, 2014 at 10:23 am #

    The sewing world really does need this, and what’s more it needs more beginner patterns with clear instructions that sewists can learn from independently! I learned so much valuable stuff from the instructions on DKNY Vogue patterns in the 90’s, but they were a challenge. I’m excited to see a straightforward make with your excellent instructions to recommend to people. If I was still teaching in a shop I would do a beginner weekend of this one day and the Renfew (or the Pendrell) the next! Kits are simply a genius idea too.

  9. Lois July 24, 2014 at 10:27 am #

    Is the content on the fabric listed on the kits somewhere?

    • Tasia July 24, 2014 at 10:28 am #

      Yes it is – there’s a paper insert included with the content listed! Which fabric are you interested in? I can add it to the listings in the store. :)

    • Tasia July 24, 2014 at 10:31 am #

      Done! Good eye, that is good information to include. Each kit listing now has the fabric content in the description. Care instructions are included on the kit insert as well.

  10. Abbey July 24, 2014 at 11:48 am #

    Ooo I love it!

  11. Jenny July 24, 2014 at 12:05 pm #

    I love that floral fabric – hopefully it won’t all be gone tomorrow when I can buy it!

  12. Cherie July 24, 2014 at 12:35 pm #

    Tasia, you are brilliant! This skirt is not a stupid dirndl that I had to make in high school. That style just made me look pudgy, even at my thin weight. (I’m very short-waisted with full bustline). This style should flatter everyone. I’ll probably buy it, even though I am an advanced seamstress. Short for those who can wear that, longer for the rest of us.

    Brilliant twice! The kits you put together are great! I can see it would be helpful for a beginner, or even me-your fabrics are cute and classic! With all the notions, and you even thought of a ribbon piece to distinguish front from back. I so admire your thinking outside the box, and your creativity. Go you!

  13. Janet July 24, 2014 at 12:56 pm #

    You nailed it! The kits are a terrific idea too.

  14. Christina July 24, 2014 at 1:35 pm #

    I really like the idea of the kit. You’re really on a roll this month. Congratulations.

  15. Anne Shetty July 24, 2014 at 2:12 pm #

    This is awesome! I actually did my first sewing class with Carley! She is the best in town! I’ve done almost all of them but I will always recommend Carley. And she made me love sewing! :-)

  16. Bella July 24, 2014 at 2:32 pm #

    Lovely skirt! And, your shoes are gorgeous. Off-topic I know, but when you see cool shoes you gotta say so!

    I will recommend this pattern to my friends!

  17. Julie July 24, 2014 at 3:10 pm #

    I love it! And Rae is my middle name. I think that’s a sign that I must order the pattern, and the kit!

    • Rachael-Lynn July 24, 2014 at 4:20 pm #

      I agree! My nickname is RaeRae! I need to buy this pattern for the same reason!

  18. Violeta July 24, 2014 at 3:26 pm #

    What a wonderful idea! I’ve been asked to show how to sew a skirt by some of my friends, and I sewed a pencil skirt with them. But they struggled with the zipper and waist band. I wish I could have started with this one and moved up to the pencil skirt.

    • Carley June 25, 2016 at 2:47 pm #

      That’s exactly what I do in my classes, Violeta! They start with the Rae Skirt and the next level is a pencil skirt with zipper, darts and waistband! It is such a good progression! I do struggle with what to do with men, however! It seems to be PJ pants…dress shirt. A bit of a leap!

  19. Elizabeth July 24, 2014 at 4:24 pm #

    Beautiful skirt! While I probably wouldn’t buy the pattern for myself I would definitely recommend it to friends wanting to learn to sew. The kits would also make a great gift along with IOU coupon to teach your friend/family to sew the skirt.

  20. Melanie July 24, 2014 at 4:46 pm #

    I really like this pattern – it seems so simple. I’d love to be able to add pockets to it but I don’t own any of your other patterns (they are too small for me {or I am too big}). Any chance of perhaps a tutorial on how to add pockets (please)?

  21. Carley July 24, 2014 at 7:32 pm #

    Yay! I’m so excited to see this pattern! It was great to work with you Tasia! This pattern is so charming and young looking! My students are going to love it. I’ve already ordered my first lot.

    Violeta mentioned that her student struggled to do a pencil skirt as a first project and I heartily agree. The pattern you’ve designed is so awesome for beginners because they get so much practice on the sewing machine! I do a pencil skirt as a second project.

    • Tasia July 25, 2014 at 1:17 pm #

      That’s great! Hope it meets your needs as a teacher, and hope it’s cool and appealing for your students!

  22. Liz July 24, 2014 at 9:54 pm #

    I LOVE kits – and the shipping to Australia isn’t exorbitant like other kits I’ve seen. I do hope you do other kits, like for the belcarra blouse :-)

    • Tasia July 25, 2014 at 12:52 pm #

      Awesome! If these kits do well – and it looks like they are so far! – then I’ll try kits again for other patterns. The shipping is a little wacky since the rates are based on shipping patterns instead of fabric, oops! At least it’s a good deal for you guys :) I’d forgotten to check on shipping for the kits until you mentioned it. Belcarra would be an easy kit since there aren’t a lot of notions, but the pattern’s been out for a while so people might not be into it. I’ll see what I can come up with!

  23. lazylinchen July 24, 2014 at 11:06 pm #

    The kits are fantastic! I just ordered the floral and the bird print.

    However, while it is great that you offer a beginner’s pattern, I’m a bit scared that you might go the same route other indies seem to go at the moment. Namely that you will be putting out beginner patterns exclusively. I love your patterns so much that I would be seriously sad if you left us intermediate and the advanced sewists out in the dry.

    That being said, I loved the Yaletown earlier this week, so I am very optimistic!

    Have a good day!

    • francesca July 25, 2014 at 12:57 am #

      Second this opinion:). I usually buy all your patterns without thinking, as a pear shape, but from Belcarra on I have been hesitant. I did get the Belcarra pdf, to be honest because it was very reasonable, but I wouldn’t have unhesitatingly bought the paper pattern like almost all your previous patterns. The dress/ top is pretty but the only thing i think would flatter me is the sleeves – I do have a few viscose or silk dresses with a bloused in waist, and they’re not bad on me, but I much prefer my proportions when I wear less bulk at the waist, both above and below – darted bodices or even undarted but straighthanging like Jen’s new shirtdress with the gathered waist section, knit bodices like Moneta… much more flattering. Didn’t get the saltspring for the same reason – the Lonsdale is so much more becoming on me.
      I am not being critical, your designs are all gorgeous, and your attention to detail is always phenomenal. I am seconding the above which says please don’t go the beginner’s route – I am a bit worried Colette are going that way too – as you are one of the designers i depend on for flattering, well designed clothes – II never even bother walking your patterns like I do most others, and after a major snafu on some fabulous fabric due to a wonky pattern, I almost always do!

      • Tasia July 25, 2014 at 12:43 pm #

        Thanks so much for the feedback! I don’t plan on producing only beginner’s patterns, that would be awfully boring for me and for you as well. It’s just happened that we’ve done simpler styles this year but it hasn’t been intentional, by that I mean I haven’t been purposefully simplifying things.

        Also, advanced patterns take longer to produce! More pattern pieces, longer instructions, more diagrams. I am working on a few more complicated styles that have also been complicated to turn into final patterns. :)

        Thanks for the feedback on the most recent styles, it’s helpful to hear which parts you like and which you don’t. We all have different preferences in clothing and what we like on ourselves. Hopefully while you might not love these new styles, there are more coming up that are better suited to your taste!

    • Tasia July 25, 2014 at 12:48 pm #

      Don’t worry, that isn’t my intention, to only develop beginner patterns. This skirt was developed for true beginners to suit Carley’s needs (the sewing instructor I worked with) as well as the many people that I meet that have no idea how to sew but want to learn! It’s not the start of a beginner-only pattern trend. :) I like the challenge and interest of more complicated patterns and am definitely planning to make more patterns of that level! Beginner patterns are so easy to finish, I finished the Rae pattern way faster than I expected because it was just so simple. Compared to the ones I am working on now, they’re much harder and raise more questions on how to write the instructions. Where the Rae instructions were pretty straightforward.
      I’m so glad you loved the Yaletown! I knew that the Rae wasn’t going to suit everyone’s needs especially since the people that read sewing blogs are less likely to be brand-new to sewing. So I was kind of prepared to get this sort of feedback and I’m glad to hear you enjoy more detailed patterns.

  24. Nakiloe July 24, 2014 at 11:57 pm #

    As a beginner sewer who likes skirts, I say thanks! ^^

  25. andoc July 25, 2014 at 1:49 am #

    Wow, I really like this. Cute skirt, and easy to sew, that is what I really need:) I’m looking for the pattern testers’ creations, they are always awesome:)

    (btw, on the metric envelope back the finished measurements and fabric requirements are still in yards and inches:)

    • Tasia July 25, 2014 at 12:38 pm #

      Oops, thanks! We’ll get that fixed. Thanks for pointing it out! Yes, it’s a super quick and easy skirt to make.

  26. Catherine July 25, 2014 at 8:41 am #

    Thanks for this — I have been collecting patterns and fabric for the past year (including a few of yours) but I’ve been anxious about plunging in. Paper pattern and kit ordered! I was hesitating between the floral and the black polka dots, and the floral must have flown off the shelves, because the decision was made for me. Very excited.

    • Tasia July 25, 2014 at 12:36 pm #

      Awesome! The black dotted fabric is a nice weight with a bit of texture, plus it’s synthetic so it will resist wrinkles!

  27. Heather July 25, 2014 at 9:20 am #

    Really? This is gorgeous. I already have a list of patterns of yours that I want to buy but I have a quilt I need to finish before taking on more projects. Now I have another on that list.

    Keep producing patterns, I love the classic designs you come up with that will last for years.

    • Tasia July 25, 2014 at 12:05 pm #

      Thank you! I’m so glad you like this design. This is a quick one, maybe you can fit it in between quilting steps! :)

  28. Katherine July 25, 2014 at 10:08 am #

    Tasia this is such a cute skirt I am in awe that you made an elasticized waistband without the bulk. Those kits are super cute what a great idea!
    Do you have a list of the pattern tester blogs for this skirt and the Yaletown pattern? I need to start creeping for some ideas.

    • Tasia July 25, 2014 at 12:00 pm #

      Thank you! Yes, I’ve tried to eliminate as much of the bulk as possible at the waistline. There’s still a little, so the skirt can stretch at the waist and go over the hips, but it’s so much less bulky than if it was a rectangle. (Wait till you see the pattern pieces, they’re all long narrow trapezoids.)
      To stalk any pattern tester’s versions or brand-new versions, I like to google-image-search ‘sewaholic yaletown’ or ‘sewaholic rae skirt’ and see what comes up!

  29. Reader July 25, 2014 at 11:31 am #

    Very cute. I assume it’s not too hard to add a waistband?

    • Tasia July 25, 2014 at 11:56 am #

      Do you mean like a regular straight interfaced waistband, not elastic? Yes, it would be really easy to do. Simply remove the casing allowance at the top, and then gather the waistline of the skirt onto the separate waistband. You could add a zipper at the sideseam, or split the centre back panel to add a centre back zipper.

  30. Elisabeth July 25, 2014 at 1:31 pm #

    I fell in love with the bird fabric, but by the time I was back on wifi and ready to order, you’re out.
    Do you know if there is an online shop I can get it from?
    Love your two latest patterns as well!

    • Tasia July 25, 2014 at 1:41 pm #

      Both the bird print and the floral print sold very quickly! The bird print sold out the fastest, sorry that we ran out before you could grab a kit!
      I have not seen it for sale online anywhere, but if I do I’ll be sure to let you know :)

    • Tasia July 25, 2014 at 1:43 pm #

      Did a quick online search to see if I could find it – here it is in dress form funny enough! but not fabric.

    • Reader July 27, 2014 at 5:17 pm #

      Thanks so much, Tasia. It’s a cute skirt and I’ve recommended it to some beginning sewers on the web who’ve sought recommendations.

  31. Line @ WikkidWoman July 25, 2014 at 3:14 pm #

    Love the pattern, bought the PDF now I’m just looking for the perfect fabric. I’m a complete beginner I haven’t sewn any garments from scratch yet, this weekend I’m planning to have a go with Colette’s Sorbetto, but as soon as I have fabric for Rae she will be started, I have a feeling she’ll be perfect for the warm weather we’re having right now

  32. Linda L July 26, 2014 at 4:43 am #

    Great new pattern! I have to say I love the shoes you wore for the photo shoot!

  33. Sue @ A Colourful Canvas July 26, 2014 at 11:03 am #

    Very pretty Tasia! Funny, I kept thinking Rae, Rae? Thanks for divulging the source of your skirt’s name…I’d be sad if you stopped using regional monikers. :)

    I have readers that are becoming inspired to dust off their sewing machines, and I will recommend the Rae to them!

  34. Molly July 27, 2014 at 7:19 pm #

    This is a very cute skirt (although I wish you would include the technical drawing when you announce the new patterns :) ), and I get that it’s geared specifically towards teaching beginners to sew, but what did you change/include in the instructions that makes this different? What sort of things was the sewing teacher you brainstormed with wanting?

  35. Jaclyn July 27, 2014 at 7:34 pm #

    Looks like a great beginner pattern! I taught a basic skirt class at my local quilt shop last year using another elastic-waist skirt pattern by an indie designer (ashamed to say I don’t actually remember who…but it wasn’t anybody I’d heard of before in blog-land). I liked the final result of the skirt, but I had to change quite a few things to explain the instructions to beginners. Fundamentally the design was good, but it just wasn’t well presented. It was like the designer wasn’t familiar with the usual terminology and techniques of garment sewing. If I teach a class again, I would much rather use your pattern!

  36. Della August 2, 2014 at 6:52 am #

    I have just bought this pattern and it will be my first attempt at making an item of clothing. I bought the Cambie pattern last year but I haven’t been brave enough to try it yet. I hope Rae will ease me in gently…wish me luck :-)

  37. Emilie August 9, 2014 at 6:39 am #

    Hello Tasia
    First of alĺ thanks à lot for this pattern. As a beginner I must say it is quite difficult to find a pattern which is both accessible and flattering , now I have the perfect one!
    I have 2 questions: where can I get the conversion of fabric requirements in cm? Also can I use heavier fabrics (like velvet or wool) or do you recommend only light fabrics? Thanks a lot!

    • Reader August 19, 2014 at 3:43 pm #


      Perhaps Tasia will return with a different answer, but velvet, corduroy and wool usually aren’t the best choices for elastic waistbands because they are bulky. They are harder fabrics to use, so perhaps you could make some versions in cotton and then convert the pattern to a regular waistband version with a zipper. Tasia explained the outlines of that in response to my question above.

      • Emilie August 30, 2014 at 7:10 am #

        Thanks à lot! :)


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